Friday, 29 November 2013


The rough ,gruff scotsman COWLEY, who some of the angels at the bar in Heaven thought looked like that famous scottish actor from films and 'UPSTAIRS ,DOWNSTAIRS!'.....GORDON JACKSON ordered "Another large malt!" and proceeded to guzzle it down after hobbling over to his table . He was clearly troubled by a bad leg, but got down to the 'paperwork'....He was head of C.I.5....'The big boys!'; The'Heavy mob!'; The 'Hard men' of criminal intelligence. On Earth in his life he fought criminal,spies and terrorists ,but in Heaven the Devils minions from 'Down there!' were the problem.

When he was alive he had two men who were so good and hard and tough ,even though they were only actors they were what he needed. They were called 'BODIE and DOYLE!' .....Doyle played by MARTIN SHAW was a thespian and was ok, but was the sensitive character to LEWIS COLLIN'S....BODIE! Lewis Collins born and brought up around Merseysides posh part ,on the Wirral ,playing in the MOJO'S during the later Mersey beat times.  He started acting and played in bits and pieces and ,ironically considering his 'hard man' character of later years was a dab hand at comedy.

SHAW and COLLINS were spotted in the terrible 'NEW AVENGERS' and were remembered when the PROFFESSIONALS was put foreward....Lots of kicking in of doors ,gunfights and all kind of fights were crammed into each episode ,with lots of naughties ,SHAW was often 'in love!', but BODIE was 'a lad!'.....Always in big collared jackets ,flared pants looking dapper n' smart ,well for the 80's ?????....They both had a terrible sense of direction because whenever they got an emergency call ,it was always when they were going in the wrong direction ,thus entailing a handbrake turn. 

I always liked COLLINS ,although he fancied himself as a 'hard ,mans man', which caused tensions during the early days of filming between the two leads ,there was, i always thought , a good bit of scouse tongue in cheek.....A favourite moment was when BODIE thought he was being followed and swung the car to a screeching halt with the usual handbrake turn. He leapt out of the car vaulted the bonnet ,another staple of the series, and pulled his gun waiting for his pursuers, who never showed ...He'd been mistaken. But a line of shoked people stood at the bus stop gave him a rousing 'round of applause', he gave a wry smile and a slight appreciative nod!

After the series finished ,after the S.A.S. and the IRANIAN EMBASSY SIEGE ,the 'latest thing' was the S.A.S. And Collins leapt in for his first stint as a special forces daredevil sort in 'WHO DARES WINS!'...Not a classic, but 'good fun, as were most of his tough guy B-film type stuff ,after ,although he acted with some well known faces. He even ,actually tried for the S.A.S. But ,apparently was knocked back ,as his face was to 'well known'....Cubbt Broccolli knocked him back for BOND as he was too 'aggressive'..That could've been interesting, but 'ah well!'

But Cowley smiled as he heard the car crashed through the pearly gates and gunfire followed....."Och!,..Bodie where the hell have you been ,i need a good man!"....."Sorry ,sir i've been living it up in Los Angeles and fighting cancer for 5 years!.."......"Och ! enough of that we''ve work t'do!.....Another two malts over here, bar angel!"

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


A few weeks ago my good tall grey wispy haired Geordie mate Simon Malia treated me to a ticket and a lift to Manchesterland, although it is the wrong end of the M62 for me there is times when situations demand this selfless sacrifice of my geographical principles ,this was one of those times. We had tickets to go and see a certain Mr PETER GABRIEL.

I had his 'SO!' album for quite a while, but never really played it ,as i had a couple of his GENESIS albums and never really played them. I used to play a lot of music, but tended towards RADIO5 and RADIO4 extra these days, old fartdom setting in i s'pose!...But i slowly got to like the 'SO' album and GABRIELS tunes and slightly gravely voice and listened more and more ,until fairly recently delved into the realms of early GENESIS and confess to loving them. Even the silly bits ,but the sweeping melodic bits are wonderful ,frustrating even ,as you cant really whistle them as your washing the dishes or walking the dog as us 'living life on the edge' cartoonists do!

But GABRIEL was replaying a few acoustic bits he was working on ,all very good ,then some electric pumped up bits and finally the whole ,but not quite! of the 'SO'album.....And very excellent t'was too. The only piss off factor for me ,and when i'm having a drink one day with Mr PETER GABRIEL i will be mentioning it ,is that he never played a favourite of mine SAN JACINCTO!....Swine!

But it was a great night and he seems to be a nice bloke as well and if he's round the right end of the M62 i might even drop in and tap my toes to him again!

Friday, 22 November 2013


Whenever anyone says 'where were you when Kennedy was shot/'....Some of us know exactly ,as we couldn't give a shit about American politics and shag happy American presidents from mob friendly ex-bootlegging anti-British families, and we were only snotty kids , were watching 'Doctor Who!' Kennedy's assassination did admittedly have far reaching effects the main one being that the DOCTOR WHO pilot was reshown the following week after being lost in the 'Hu-Harr' of President Kennedy's exploding head.

It is the 50 th anniversary of the shooting ,but it is also the 50th anniversary of DOCTOR WHO and  the world has gone into a supernova size frenzy over, the fact that this time travelling time lord is celebrating his 50th anniversary on his 900th odd year ....Time lords must have age a little like Earth dogs ,but they age 18 years to our 1 year.

We live in times were everything is shown by advances in technology leaving no place for a certain brain function that once we all had and cultivated ...IMAGINATION!!!! Imagination was a wonderful thing ,where whole worlds and universes could exist in the mind of anybody and pictures from radio series  ,books and comics came to life ,but with the advent of things like CGI imagination has taken a serious battering. In the long far off days of the birth of DOCTOR WHO when all was filmed in a BBC warehouse full of draughts and fire sprinklers going off mid-scene and where everything was mad from cardboard ,old loo roll holders and ream upon ream of duct tape ....All of time and space was made .....Now that is imagination...The viewers watching through tiny screens at snowy black and white images were held spellbound .....Imagination running free!

The story of an old scientist in a time machine, well thats ok!...A little H.G. WELLS'ian ,but good stuff, then he's in a police telephone box from the 1950's ,which ,when you step inside is vast in size compared to outside ,not only the control room, but corridors and other rooms, DIMENSIONAL DISPACEMENT iseem to remember it being explained as ,there thats reasonable enough!....Why a police telephone box , for gods sake? Apparently ,so the 'ship' wouldn't stand out on alien landscapes it was equipped with the ,now famous 'CHAMELEON CIRCUIT',which changed it 's shape, but 'got stuck' and 'got stuck' as a police box...Aliens all over the universe now know what an English 1950's public police box looks like from the planet Earth.....And it even had a name the T.A.R.D.I.S.(Time And Relative Dimensions In Space)....Sounds 'Whizzo-super,but it was knackered and although they could whizz through time and space they had no control of where they were going, all added to the fun and gave you companions who had reason to grumble with the idiot of a Doctor who couldn't take them home. Nowadays the bright blue lovely clean TARDIS can turn on a stopwatch and go anywhere ,to the second and all the companions are bright young things loving the wacky ,zany doctor and looking for adventure.

The inside was wonderful too. In the beginning the walls were a mass of cicular globes ,apparently photographed pop out tablet holders by the special effects people ,but with a hexagonal control panel plonked in the middle it gave this sparten, but mysterious, etherial look to it ,totally alien. It was like that ,basically until TOM BAKER the 4th Doctor ,at one point ,gave it a captains bridge on a victorian sailing ship ,dark wooden panelling and all. The last couple of 'new boys' have gone all 'retro' and smoke,sparks,and lots of pumping and turning wheels drives the 'old girl'...I doubt they could flush the T.A.R.D.I.S. toilet without sparks and smoke.

The other huge grounbreaking part was the sound and music of the opening titles . Composer RON GRAINER  of the BEEB's famous ( once ) RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP by looping sound tapes and film got audio and visual distortions that became the original opening titles for years ,possibly more frightening then the show. The T.A.R.D.I.S. engines were created from these techniques the hissing and ashmatic wheezing sound of take off when the central column started 'pumping' was made from the sound of scraping a key on the chord strings of a piano lying on its side in the corner.....Those sound effects , opening titles of breaking and joining blobs ,the music ,hissing, etc still blows me away!.....Anybody who says they prefer the new whizz bang CGI  effects of today just don't know what they are talking about!

Originally ,no 'Robots ,B.E.M.s( Bug-Eyed Monsters) were allowed....All historical adventures to educate the kids and develop a love of science and history. The first story was a dodgy one about cavemen and their quest for fire, but after that.....Well, after that a gentleman by the name of TERRY NATION gave in a script called THE MUTANTS and introduced to the world a 'bug-eyed robot which went by the name of THE DALEKS!!!!!!.....And nothing would ever be the same again!....The BEEB had audiences through the roof , merchandising and even two films remaking two of their stories, as the DALEKS had to be brought back, ad infinitum...Scriptwriters have gone nuts with the DALEKS and all they scream ,which in itself is odd for emotionless creatures is ....c'mon, all together now .."EXTERMINATE!" Again and again and again....In the first story i dont think they even said it ,possibly once. The first story shaped the rest .....They arrive in a strange place and mystery and drama as they explore ,then meet the baddies ,get taken prisioner than drama becomes adventure as they have to escape and foil the baddies plots which ussually involves lots of running around. then back to the T.A.R.D.I.S. in time for a tube of dinner from the food dispenser.

The first Doctor was hard man actor WILLIAM HARTNELL his Doctor was a grumpy old man with his beloved grandaughter SUSAN. He was alien, bad tempered ,crafty ,but mellowed over time with his accidental companions IAN and BARBERA. Hartnell became ill and his co stars had left and changed so he couldn't go on. Neccesity being the mother of invention, it was then that REGENERATION of the Doctor was thought of. WILLIAM HARTNELL'S Doctor ,was dying so regenerated himself into another version of himself with all his memories, but totally different character and features, this new 'cosmic hobo' was played in an equally mysterious manner ,but with a more gentle brighter side ,even humerous by the excellent character actor PATRICK TROUGHTON. His Doctor lasted with great success for 3 more years.

The BEEB in its wisdom and non stop attempts to save money wiped the tapes of many of Hartnells and Troughtons episodes ,most arelost but turn up in sheds and carboot sales. A few months ago ,the DOCTOR WHO world erupted with the news 106 episodes had been found in ETHIOPIA, they might have little food and supplies ,but they wont be hungry for classic sci-fi, but it turned ot to be a heap of newspaper shit and about 12 surfaced ,a few new DVD's for the x-mas market will be released.

TROUGHTON was replaced by JON PERTWEE,master of VENUSIAN KARATE/AIKIDO, and ace REVERSER OF THE NEUTRON FLOW!....There was a rumour SIR NED OF WALES, sir HARRY SECOMBE  himself  might squeeze into the TARDIS..." What/ what?what? Thhhhrrrrrppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"...A time travelling ball of blubber as SPIKE MILLIGAN might've put it

Tom Baker curly hair, bulging eyes and 50 foot sca
rf came next ,these were all in colour ,but special effects didn't improve and  you were torn between loving and hating its brilliance and crapness...Crossrads/Acorn antiques in space. Doctors came and went ,all different ,everybody has their favourites ,most go by the one they watched as a kid ,but no matter what the events going on the whole thing hangs on the character of the Doctor ,no pressure there for the actor then?

It occurred to me when JONATHAN ROSS and RUSSELL BRAND got into trouble sending improper phone calls to ANDREW SACHS daughter ,they coud be DOCTOR WHOSSY and his alien companion RUSS!....Causing cosmic mayhem sending dirty messages to the EMPEROR DALEK  about naughties with DAVRO'S daughter.......